The Mozilla Foundation announced it will no longer provide feature updates for its open-source Thunderbird e-mail client. The company will continue to provide security and stability patches, but other than that future development of the browser is left in the hands of the community.
It's been clear that Mozilla has been favouring Firefox over Thunderbird for quite some time, with Thunderbird's feature set stagnating while Firefox's version numbers fly ever skyward in competition with Google's Chrome browser. On Friday, however, the Foundation made it official: Thunderbird is being all-but abandoned in favour of work on the far sexier Firefox project, and spin-off efforts including the Firefox Mobile operating system previously known as Boot To Gecko (B2G.)
'Much of Mozilla's leadership — including that of the Thunderbird team — has come to the conclusion that on-going stability is the most important thing, and that continued innovation in Thunderbird is not a priority for Mozilla's product efforts,' Mitchell Baker, chair of the Mozilla Foundation, explained in a blog post on Friday. 'As a result, the Thunderbird team has developed a plan that provides both stability for Thunderbird’s current state and allows the Thunderbird community to innovate if it chooses.'